How to look after your own health and keep yourself injury free at home.
Most of us are busy, but when you are a Mum you are busy times 10! How do you look after yourself while you are trying to run the house, run your work and keep your kids healthy and well-rounded?
In the clinic we often see Mums (Dads, grandparents, babysitters) bring their kids in for a physio session and mention how they ‘should really book in to get their back/neck/leg/elbow fixed’. Unfortunately, it is very rare that you book yourself in due to not finding the time to look after yourself and making the kids a priority.
So here are a few tips that you can incorporate into your everyday activities. You won’t need to stop life to do these, it is simply adapting the current way you are doing normal activities.
When lifting (eg kids, washing basket, heavy bags, push chairs into the boot)
– always bend from your hips not your knees as shown in the picture below.
When picking all the toys up (hopefully the kids are helping!?)
– try doing it on your hands and knees.
This will preserve your back, strengthen your gluts and shoulders and avoid repetitive bending through your lower back. Plus the kids will love you being down on their level for a small moment.
When holding things (eg shopping bags, heavy clothes, all the beach gear, runner bikes, opening doors, holding the steering wheel, school bags)
– use a power grip (thumb stays next to your first finger) instead of a pincer grip (tip of thumb and first finger meet).
If you are using a pincer grip for everything you can easily over-use your forearm muscles and give yourself tennis elbow. The power grip helps to disperse the forces into your back and preserve your forearm for when you really need it, like writing and typing.
When putting kids into car seats
– EITHER bend from your lower back OR rotate through your mid-back but not both at the same time.
Now this one might take a bit of brain power to work out but once you get the idea it will save a lot of back ache. As you bend down into to the car, make sure you bum is really sticking out behind you so you are hinging at your hips, then rotate through your upper back for doing up all the buckles etc.
When picking up (anything heavy eg your child, the wet washing, the buggy)
– keep everything as close to your body as possible.
When you pick something up away from your body it creates a long lever which puts a lot more force on short muscles, but if you keep things close you will have more muscles to help lift and hold with.
If you are still feeling niggly in your back/neck/knee/elbow after a week or so of changing these things, then please make time to book in and see us. Often these niggling aches and pains will only take 1 or 2 sessions to treat but if you leave it until you physically can not move, then it might take more like 8-10 sessions.